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Alabama farmer paid pharmacy bills for strangers and kept it a secret until his death

"He just wanted to bless people.”

Alabama, random acts of kindness, pharmacy bills, Alabama farmer
Photo by Zoe Schaeffer on Unsplash

Alabama farmer paid strangers' pharmacy bills in secret

There are still good people in the world, and a farmer in Alabama left a legacy of kindness in his small town. Hody Childress lived in Geraldine, Alabama, which is about 40 miles outside of Huntsville and for the last 10 years of his life he made anonymous donations to the local pharmacy. No, the pharmacy isn't a charity, so donations aren't something they're accustomed to receiving.

But Childress was on a mission to help his struggling townspeople with access to medications that may be essential. Pharmacies likely run into many people during the week or month that can't afford the pricey cost of some of their prescriptions. I've personally seen pharmacists look up prices from other pharmacies to find the cheapest cost for the customer, or use a GoodRx card to help offset the cost.


Medications aren't only designed to make you feel better, some are there to keep you alive. But if the price tag is $600 and you're on a fixed income of $1,000 a month, survival becomes infinitely more difficult. Childress didn't want anyone in that position if he could help it, though he himself was on a fixed income.

A decade ago Childress walked into his local pharmacy, Geraldine Drugs and spoke to the owner, Brooke Walker to find out if anyone in town had difficulty paying for their pharmacy bills. When Walker confirmed that it was a regular problem, Childress handed her a hundred dollar bill and told her to use it for those that couldn't afford their medicine.

Walker told Good Morning America, "he handed me a bill and it was folded up. I couldn't see what it was. He said, 'the next time that happens I want you to use this to help them out and I want it to be anonymous. I don't want to know who you use it for and I don't want them to know my name. I just want you to tell them it was a blessing from God.'"

In fact, Childress was so serious about keeping it a secret that he didn't even tell his own children until shortly before he died earlier this year, and they weren't at all surprised.

“He told me he’d been carrying a $100 bill to the pharmacist in Geraldine on the first of each month, and he didn’t want to know who she’d helped with it — he just wanted to bless people with it,” Tania Nix, Childress's daughter revealed to The Washington Post. Nix told the news outlet that it was simply who her father was, saying, “He didn’t spend a lot of money in life, but he always gave what he could.”

Childress was an Air Force veteran and eventually retired from Lockheed Martin in Huntsville but always found joy in farming. “Every time he went to the post office, he’d take the postmaster an apple, or some sweet potatoes, squash or okra he’d grown on his farm,” Nix told The Washington Post.

Kindness isn't an act done in front of a crowd. It's the small things that add up to big things and the things you do when no one is watching. Childress was a kind man and through his monthly donation, thousands of dollars went to helping his neighbors.

Watch the incredible story of kindness below:

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In a video made from her car just after leaving the gym, Steph explained that a "hardcore" gym-goer who is "super tough" and covered in tattoos had came up to talk to her. Her initial response was to be afraid of what he was going to say to her, based on previous experience. She shared in the video how hard it's been to stay steady with her workouts, especially with medications she's on making her body hold onto weight, but she's been working hard to be consistent. She steeled herself for whatever he might say.

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Watch her tell the story:

@steph5468

#gymprogress #workputjourney #keepgoing #healingjourney

People had a lot to say about the interchange and Steph's emotional response to it.

"People do not realize, how one person can change everything," wrote one commenter.

"Girl you are CRUSHING IT," wrote another. "That man you encountered is what real men do. Encourage. Support. Be human! It isn’t hard! ❤️"

"No one knows your story, your struggles. You're doing the dang thing and that takes courage and strength. You. Keep. Going. I'm proud of you too!" shared another.

More and more words of encouragement flooded Steph's comment section, and people on Upworthy's Instagram page weighed in as well.

"I'm a fitness coach and this made me cry 😢 just having someone say they are proud of you can move mountains for so many of us who didn’t/ don’t get the praise growing up," wrote one person.

"Who knows? He may be going through something too and saw a determined, consistent, fellow traveler," wrote another. "You share your Truth so powerfully. You may not know how many people will see this and be encouraged by your honesty. I’m in awe that you show up for YOURSELF every day. And as for the rude and ill-mannered? Well they struggle too—just to be decent kind human beings. Some people have not been shown Empathy and therefore do not know how to use that muscle. You are beautiful, smart, articulate, wise and a woman who knows where she’s headed. Keep walking, head up knowing there are many many more who do empathize, who see you and are on your side❤️"

"It’s amazing to think about how this man’s single act of kindness, spread through you to affect us all in a positive way," shared another. "This made all of our days, and I’m crying tears of joy while I write this. Please thank him from all of us the next time you see him, if you’re comfortable with that. And thank you for sharing! ❤️"

Indeed, thanks to both Steph and the hardcore, tattooed gym bro for being wonderful examples for us all. We never know what a small act of kindness or a few words of encouragement will do to make someone's life significantly better, but it's always worth trying.


This article originally appeared on 9.5.23

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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